Best Upright Freezers

Last updated: November 02, 2019
BEST OVERALL
Highly-Competitive Price, Feature-Packed
Read Review
BEST WITH LOCK
Efficient, Thorough Freezing
Read Review
BEST FROST-FREE
Nice Look, Frost-Free Operation
Read Review

eHomeUpgrade is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Your guide

Little compact freezers with one cubic foot of storage capacity. Mid-sized freezers with a storage capacity of around three cubic feet. Much larger freezers with storage capacities of over 20 cubic feet. Which is the ideal one for you?

Freezers – at the smaller end of the scale – can be had for a little over 100 bucks. The mid-range freezers and you’re looking more towards shelling out something between $180 and $300. Then, at the higher end for household freezers – the sort that comes with 20 cubic feet or so – you’d be hard-pressed to get any change from $1,000.

At the top end and you’re looking at the industrial uprights. In this case, you can easily invest well over $2,000, depending on the brand and the level of functionality. This is the starting point in freezer selection – what size is right for your needs, and how much functionality do you actually need?

But, other than industrial upright freezers (we reviewed household freezers only), in our reviews, we believe you’ll find exactly, or almost exactly, what it is you are looking for. We bring you the best of various categories, including best overall upright freezer, best upright freezer that comes with an exterior lock, best compact upright freezer, best budget upright freezer, and best frost-free upright freezer.

Best Upright Freezer: Buying Guide

Regardless that you make your freezer home to numerous months’ supply of food or you only use it to stash some ice cream and the occasional bag of French fries, you’ll be able to find the ideal upright freezer to fit in with your needs from the uprights we have reviewed in this article. Small, medium, large, basic or high-tech – we’ve covered pretty much everything available to fit the bill.

Within our reviews, you’ll find out all you need to find out about the ideal upright freezer to cater to your requirements.

Factors to Consider When Buying an Upright Freezer

Here are a couple of the key considerations you’ll want to think about when you’re choosing an upright freezer.

The Freezer’s Size

Freezers come in an array of different sizes. You can get compact ones that have a capacity of around one cubic foot and that are ideal for small spaces and countertop use. You can get the very large ones that come with a capacity of over 20 cubic feet. This is adequate for keeping a family fed over a two-month period.

Select your freezer in accordance with the size of your home and the amount of frozen food you’d like to store. A two-to-three-person household will probably get away with a three-cubic-foot freezer. And, of course, the single person who prefers frozen French fries and a box of ice cream will be fine with a single cubic foot of freezer storage space.

Storage Arrangements

Be sure to check over the arrangement for storage in the freezers you’re considering. At a minimum, you’ll want some simplistic shelving on which to store your frozen goodies. There are many freezer models that come equipped with baskets and drawers, too. Baskets and drawers are good for irregular, smaller items that are not so easy to neatly stash on the freezer’s shelves.

Drawers and baskets also work amazingly well at harboring odd fries, peas, and the like – the stuff that seems to have a habit of coming loose from their packaging. This makes freezer cleaning that little bit easier of a task. But why choose an upright freezer at all? Why not plump for a chest freezer? Chest freezers tend to have larger storage capacities after all.

Well, yes, but larger storage capacity does not necessarily equate to better product. The benefits of upright freezers in comparison to their chest-type counterparts are as follows:

  • The upright freezer takes up either a little or a lot less floor space than do chest freezers. For a 22 cubic-foot storage capacity, which takes up around 2.5 square feet of floor space with respect to an upright freezer, you’re looking at something around 12 square feet of floor space for a chest freezer.
  • Upright freezers are much easier to keep organized. Similar to a fridge, the shelving and the bins that come with an upright freezer and the way the door space is utilized makes it pretty easy, and quick, to find your goodies. Not necessarily so in a chest freezer.
  • Quite unlike chest freezers, upright freezers are available with a selection of finishes. You can get a lovely slate finish or a beautiful stainless-steel look with an upright. You can’t get that with a chest freezer.
  • And, with regard to defrosting, while the majority of upright freezers do require manual defrost, some (including the DMAFRIGFFFH21F6QW – Frigidaire we’ve reviewed in this article) are auto defrosting. All chest freezers must be manually defrosted and that’s a time-consuming business.
  • When manually defrosting, you must find a temporary home for the contents of your freezer because everything has to come out while the defrosting process is taking place.

1. Best Overall - Midea WHS-109FW1

Specifications:

  • Dimensions →  (Inches) 19.7 Wide x 21.3 Deep x 33.9 High
  • Weight → 57.3 pounds
  • Capacity → 3 cubic feet
  • Form Factor → Standalone
  • Installation type → Freestanding
  • Color → White, black, or stainless-steel

Key Features:

  • Competitive price
  • Silent on and off compressor cycle
  • Suited to small apartments and other tight spaces
  • Reversible exterior door
  • Manual defrost
  • 1-year warranty

Midea WHS-109FW1 Upright Freezer Review

This is a “relatively” compact freezer (3 cubic feet) but our team considered the Midea WHS-109FW1 to be the best overall freezer that we reviewed (and we reviewed many).

The freezer comes with a streamlined appearance to complement any kitchen style. The Midea WHS-109FW1 is ideal for European-style kitchens, for galley kitchens, for the mid-sized apartment, the office, the college dorm, nursery, garage, the RV, or even for the bedroom.

The whisper-quiet compressor of this upright freezer has a silent on- and off-cycle. The reversible door can be fixed to open from the left side or the right. The freezer measures 33.9 inches high x 19.7 inches wide x 18.5 inches deep.

Inside, you’ll find one removable wire drawer together with two fixed shelves. Plenty good enough to keep your food in an organized fashion. The product is Energy Star rated (approximately $29/ year to run) and comes with a one-year warranty.

Pros
  • Silent compressor on- and off-cycle
  • Ideal for smaller- and medium-sized spaces
  • Reversible exterior door
Cons
  • None that we came across throughout our review

2. Best with Lock - Whynter CUF-301BK

Specifications:

  • Dimensions → (Inches) 21 Long x 20 Wide x 34 High
  • Weight → 57 pounds
  • Capacity → 3 cubic feet
  • Form Factor → Standalone
  • Installation type → Freestanding
  • Color → Black or stainless-steel

Key Features:

  • Three condenser-coil shelves for more efficient freezing
  • Exterior lock with two keys
  • Suited to small apartments and other tight spaces
  • Manual defrost
  • Reversible exterior door

Whynter CUF-301BK 3.0 cu. ft. Energy Star Upright Freezer with Lock Review

The Whynter CUF-301BK Upright Freezer with Lock is ideal for those smaller spaces – in the home, the garage, the RV… It measures 21″ long x 20″ wide x 34″ high and runs at 100 watts of power daily.

The flush back permits the freezer to fit cleanly up against a wall or into tight corners thus further minimizing the freezer’s footprint. The door is reversible-swing type, capable of right or left swing, and comes with a cylinder lock (and two keys) for safely securing your contents.

The condenser coil shelves – three of them – make direct contact with the contents thereby freezing items quickly. There’s also a slide-out basket shelf at the bottom. The mechanical temperature control keeps the inside temperature at between 12° F and 14° F.

As for noise rating, the Whynter CUF-301BK has a <42 dB rating. The Whynter CUF Freezer is Energy Star rated (215 kWh electricity used annually) and will help you to keep energy costs low while offering efficient freezing.

Pros
  • Three condenser-coil shelves for more efficient freezing
  • Exterior lock with two keys
  • Suited to small apartments and other tight spaces
  • Reversible exterior door
Cons
  • Some customer complaints refer to faults occurring relatively early on

3. Best Compact - Whynter CUF-112SS

Specifications:

  • Dimensions → (Inches) 17.7″ Long x 18.5″ Wide x 19.5″ High
  • Weight → 40 pounds
  • Capacity → 1.1 cubic feet
  • Form Factor → Standalone
  • Installation type → Freestanding
  • Color → Black or stainless-steel

Key features:

  • Freestanding installation
  • Manual defrost
  • Suited to small apartments and other tight spaces
  • Exterior lock with two keys
  • Reversible exterior door

Whynter CUF-112SS 1.1 cubic feet Energy Star Upright Freezer Review

The Whynter CUF-112SS 1.1 cubic feet Energy Star Upright Freezer offers only 1.1 cubic feet of storage capacity, making it the ideal appliance for the small kitchen, the office, the garage, a basement, or an RV.

The back of the freezer is flush, which helps with the space-saving component. It fits cleanly against walls or in corners. The front-side handle is recessed so that it’s flush with the door.

The stainless steel door comes with reversible-swing functionality – always handy to have, even if not a requirement at the outset.

There’s a single removable inner wire shelf together with an exterior cylinder lock to secure your contents. You get two keys to actually “lock” the lock, for additional security.

The appliance is Energy Star rated so it will help in keeping your energy costs on the low side. The mechanical temperature control maintains a temperature of between 14° F and 35.6° F.

Pros
  • Compact enough for the small apartment
  • Energy Star rated
  • Exterior lock
  • Reversible exterior door
Cons
  • Customers report that the freezer, after purchase, all too frequently arrives dented (ours was fine)

4. Best Budget - Northair

Specifications:

  • Dimensions → (Inches) 17.5 Long x 18.6 Wide x 19.6 High
  • Weight → 33 pounds
  • Capacity → Choice of 1.1 or 2.1 cubic feet
  • Form Factor → Standalone
  • Installation type → Freestanding
  • Color → Black, white, or stainless steel

Key Features:

  • 1 cubic feet capacity and 2.1 cubic feet capacity available
  • 38 dBA noise level
  • Suited to small apartments and other tight spaces
  • Manual defrost
  • Reversible exterior door

Northair Upright Freezer with 1.1 Cubic Feet Capacity Review

The Northair Upright Freezer Cubic Feet Capacity comes with a choice of 1.1 cubic feet capacity or 2.1 cubic feet capacity. Here, we are reviewing the 1.1 cubic foot option.

With the Northair, you get an energy-saving compressor which is high efficiency. Temperature is controllable between 14° F to -7.6° F. The noise level of the freezer is 38 dBA – very quiet. Energy consumption equates to 66 watts on a daily basis: Not the best, but not at all bad, either.

While there is a frame inside, it is movable and the interior is freely planned providing you with good flexibility as to your layout of choice. The Northair Freezer comes with manual defrost. The reversible exterior door can be fixed to open to the left side or the right.

Pros
  • Very budget-friendly
  • Energy-efficient and cheap to operate
  • Very quiet operation
  • Reversible exterior door
Cons
  • None that our team became aware of

5. Best Frost-Free - Frigidaire DMAFRIGFFFH21F6QW

Specifications:

  • Dimensions → (Inches) 34 Wide x 27.5 Depth x 72.4 High
  • Weight → 165.3 pounds
  • Capacity → 20.5 cubic feet
  • Form Factor → Standalone
  • Installation type → Freestanding
  • Color → White

Key Features:

  • Frost-free operation
  • SpaceWise Organization System to make storage easier and more convenient
  • Designed, engineered, and assembled in the U.S.
  • Power-outage protection through AntiLock freezer walls

Frigidaire DMAFRIGFFFH21F6QW 20.5 Cu. Ft. Upright Freezer Review

With the DMAFRIGFFFH21F6QW Frigidaire’s SpaceWise Organization System, you get a variety of solutions that are highly customizable to fit in with your desired freezer interior layout.

This includes adjustable baskets (together with clips that are color-coordinated), adjustable dividers, and adjustable shelving so you can move your shelving upward and downward to make extra space for those taller items.

There’s also a deep basket (again, in SpaceWise design) which means you can more easily gain access to bulkier-sized items such as pizza. The freezer’s ArcticLock walls manage to keep food frozen for more than two days – ideal for the power-outage scenario.

And, of course, with the frost-free operation, you’ll no longer have to worry about defrosting your freezer and all of the rigmarole that that typically requires.

The DMAFRIGFFFH21F6QW Frigidaire Upright Freezer is made in the U.S. – it’s designed in the U.S., it’s engineered in the U.S., and it’s assembled in the U.S.

With the Frigidaire’s Soft Freeze Zone, you can store items (like ice cream, for example) that ideally want a slighter warmer climate than other frozen goods. The power-on interior indicator indicates that the freezer is operational. When you lock the Frigidaire’s door, the key ejects automatically so there’s no chance of leaving it in the lock.

Pros
  • Frost-free operation
  • Designed, engineered, and assembled in the U.S.
  • SpaceWise organizational system makes storing and finding goods easy
  • ArcticLock freezer walls keep food frozen for over two days if there’s no power
  • Soft Free zone for storing items at slightly warmer temperatures
Cons
  • None that we became aware of during our tests

Frequently Asked Questions: Upright Freezers

What is the best brand of upright freezer?

It’s likely that there is no one best brand of upright freezer, much as is the case with televisions. Of course, you may have your favorite brand of TV. That’s likely down to personal taste. And the same is the case for upright freezers - you may have a favorite brand.

Otherwise, though, and very solid brands in the upright freezer space include Frigidaire, Haier, Whirlpool, Igloo, G.E., Maytag, Kenmore, Amana, Midea, Whynter, and others.

Are upright freezers as good as chest freezers?

Upright freezers, quite unlike chest freezers, come with shelving, with drawers, with baskets. These accouterments, if you will, help you with the organization of your foods.

That, in turn, means it’s much easier to find what it is you are in need of and you don’t have to trawl to the bottom of your freezer (as you often do with a chest freezer) to find it.

What’s more, and as has been mentioned previously, upright freezers have a far smaller footprint than their chest freezer counterparts.

This is because the upright “spreads” in a vertical fashion, much like an apartment block if you like, as opposed to an outward fashion, as is the case with a chest freezer.

Moreover, chest freezers must be defrosted manually - there’s no alternative. While most upright freezers must also be defrosted manually, some have an auto-defrost function.

Auto-defrost makes life that much easier because there’s no effort involved in eradicating the frost that inevitably builds up over time in a manual defrosting freezer.

Manually defrosting a freezer usually takes numerous hours. What’s more is that when manually defrosting, you have to empty your freezer. With Self-defrosting freezers, you don’t have any of that to deal with.

Oh, and one more thing: Chest freezers typically have zero interior lighting. On the other hand, upright freezers sometimes come equipped with LED lighting which is ideal for interior visibility.

Nevertheless, even though there is a lot in favor of upright freezers, the fact remains that chest freezers are usually cheaper to buy than uprights. Additionally, chest freezers are cheaper to run.

How much energy does an upright freezer use?

In the most basic terms, a standalone freezer is simply a box that is electrically powered so it can freeze food.

Older freezers - depending on how old they actually are - can use more than 100% extra energy to power in comparison to a newer model - particularly those that are Energy Star rated models.

For the most part, modern freezers utilize somewhere between 30 and 100 watts of power on a daily basis. That depends, however, on the size of the freezer, the ambient temperature (temperature outside the freezer), and, of course, the freezer’s level of efficiency.

Take a 15 cubic-foot freezer - a modern one - and it may only consume around 300 kWh on an annual basis. That’s around 35 watts per day.

Is it best to choose a freezer with a reversible door?

This somewhat depends on where it is you wish to position your freezer. Sometimes, and in some places, it’s only possible to open the freezer (and indeed, fridge) door in a single direction. That may be because of cabinetry in your kitchen or a wall that’s in the way.

In such a scenario, you will need a freezer that comes with a door that opens to the side that you need it to open - if it is a fixed door and non-reversible.
Otherwise, most upright freezers these days come with reversible doors.

In fact, all of the upright freezers we reviewed and which are included in this article, with exception to the 20.5 cubic-foot Fridgidaire, come with a reversible-swing door.

While the reversible-swing freezer door is not a must-have for everyone when they are buying, you don’t know what the future will have in store. Could be that you want to rearrange your kitchen and you need to move your freezer. In which case, it’s wise to buy an upright freezer that does come with the functionality that a reversible door offers.

What is the best freezer temperature?

Before we answer that question - what’s the best freezer temperature - to know with precision what temperature your food is being stored at inside your freezer, the ideal would be to invest in a freezer thermometer. You can get freezer thermometers from Amazon at a range of different prices.

Now, to address the question: The ideal temperature for a freezer is normally 0° F (-18° C). However, if you wish to freeze food rapidly, the ideal temperature for doing so is -10° F (-23° C).

Why and when would you need to freeze food rapidly? If you have a day’s worth of shopping and you want to fill your freezer with some of that day’s worth of shopping, you’ll want to freeze it rapidly to avoid the potential for bacterium and the like spoiling your food.

So, that’s when you’d want to move your freezer dial to the -10° F setting. Then, after about 24 hours, you can reset the dial to 0° F. Why bother doing that? Why not just keep it set at 0° F all the time?

Well, that’s because at five degrees F above 0, and for every five degrees F above 0, the storage time that’s recommended will be chopped in half. And for any food that is stored at a temperature above that of 0° F, it loses quality and loses nutrients more quickly than foods that are stored at 0° F.

Make sense? If it does, you may be wondering why not set your freezer at -10° F on a permanent basis?

If you want a much larger electric bill then please go ahead. Otherwise, there’s little to be gained by maintaining your freezer’s temperature at -10° F on a permanent basis.

Best Upright Freezers — EHome